Should Euthanasia be legal for terminal illness patients?

by Alexandra.G on September 18, 2014 - 9:37pm

Euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is to this day a very delicate subject to talk about. By definition, euthanasia means to end a life intentionally for the purpose of ending someone’s suffering. Right now, it is not legal for anyone to aid a person commit suicide in Canada. Nevertheless, there are debates on whether we should have a law allowing dying adult patients to demand an earlier death and it seems that many people would be in favour. However, committing suicide on your own is legal in Canada, hence, why not permit someone who is suffering mentally and physically to die in a painless and monitored way? Shouldn’t assisted suicide be legal to citizens who are suffering miserably while they wait to die? While lots will argue it is immoral, I think the contrary.

In order to have access to euthanasia, the person requesting it should have a terminal illness in which they know they will die in the next six months. They are conscious of what they are doing and accept the consequences of their actions; therefore they should have the right to their own death. So far, this is legal; the only inconvenience is they have to do it themselves. Nonetheless, if someone is not physically capable of doing so, they will have to live miserably until they succumb to the illness, they are treated differently from the rest of the population who wishes to die and is physically able to commit suicide. It is cruel to watch someone suffer and die a slow painful death, we do not let our pets die like this so why should we let a family member or one of our patients die like this? Patients should be given a choice of wanting to either continue fighting until the end or leave before they get to the point of not being able to communicate or do basic activities by themselves.

Some people may argue that killing someone for the simple reason of answering someone’s demand is immoral due to the fact that a physician is supposed to help patients recover, not to kill them. Although this is a valid reason, a doctor cannot give someone treatment if they do not want it, so they would be dying anyway. They should just try to make the patient happy for the little time they have even if it is for dying.

In conclusion, euthanasia should be legal to stop people’s suffering and to help someone do this in the most humane way. It is worse to let someone ache for months instead of helping them find peace. We have the right to choose what we do with our lives, thus we should have the right to choose how we die.

 

Works cited

Mertz, Emily. "Assisted Suicide Debate Heats up in Canada." Global News. N.p., 28 May 2013. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.

Mertz, Emily. "Majority of Albertans Support Assisted Suicide: Study." Global News. N.p., 1 May 2013. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.

O'neill, C., D. Feenan, C. Hughes, and D.a. Mcalister. "Physician and Family Assisted Suicide: Results from a Study of Public Attitudes in Britain." Social Science & Medicine 57.4 (2003): 721-31. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.

Comments

I agree with the principle you hold in your essay, I also think that human beings should die with a certain dignity, and that they deserves to choose their way to end their lifes. But unfortunately, there are many other problems that could be created by the legalization of euthanasia. Also, there are other solutions than euthanasia to restrain the patient's pain. I found this article that explains new problems that would come up and other solutions : http://www.cqv.qc.ca/en/what-euthanasia-and-nine-arguments-why-it%E2%80%... .

I personally agree with what you have mentioned above. It is morally wrong to prevent someone from terminating their life when all that is left is pain and suffering. Having to watch a family member take their last breath after a battle of trying to survive when nothing is left is devastating. At that point it is better for them or you to decide to finally give them the peace that they deserve. However, to all our opinions comes the research that has been done on this topic. I found an article that states that the risks and harms outnumbers the benefits of the legalization of euthanasia. It is also said that the legalization may also have consequences on the medical profession. Here is the article that can offer reasons as to why it shouldn't be legalized: http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.champlaincollege.qc.ca/ehost/pdfviewe...

After reading your post, I have to say that I agree with most of the points you were making and I found that you covered well the subject of assisted euthanasia. I agree with your idea that each individual should be able to choose for himself even though if that means putting an end to his life because of some illness. This shows that you have some humanistic values because you think that a person should be able to take his own choices, but at the same time I don’t think a humanistic would allow any form of suicide. However, have you thought what would happen if soon after one individual ends his days with assisted euthanasia, a form of remedy is found for his illness and something could finally save that person’s life. Of course this situation doesn’t have many chances to happen but I still need to think it’s worth considering. Finally, I think that assisted suicide could also be pretty charged emotionally for the family of the patient, but also for the doctors since it is not a normal practice for them. If you’re interested about this aspect of euthanasia, you could read more about this by reading a study that has been made about that if you follow this link: http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.champlaincollege.qc.ca/ehost/pdfviewe.... In conclusion, that is why I think that assisted euthanasia should be allowed but only with strict restrictions with some particular patients.